Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Vlog: The Sandinista Revolution in Christian Periodicals (My Undergraduate Thesis)



The Sandinista Revolution in Christian Periodicals Part 2



The Sandinista Revolution in Christian Periodicals

6 comments:

Whisky Prajer said...

Wow, this brings back memories. I had a few "Sandalista" friends, and was continually exposed to Christianity Today coverage. Also, I was listening to Bruce Cockburn's "Stealing Fire" a great deal. Anyhow, CT's coverage made me crazy. It was bad enough that their "neutral" tone (which you dismantled nicely, btw) leaned toward Republican concerns, but Chuck Colson usually got the final word on the final page of that rag, and he remained a GOP tub-thumper to his final days.

It's curious you note how two evangelical missionaries piped up and complained about the tilt of most stories. I've often experienced a difference in POV from the missionaries being sent, and the people funding their particular causes. In this day of Fox News I have to wonder if missionary reports to US congregations say anything of value, or if they just stick to the tepid "God is working miracles" message to keep the sawbucks flowing. Well ... maybe I don't have to wonder. Seems a shame, though. Hearing from people who were trying to go deep into other cultures was often consciousness expanding in unintended ways.

Joel Swagman said...

Whisky, as always, thanks for the comment.

Actually, could you help me out on this?

1) How big a news story was this in the 1980s?
2) How many people (particularly young people) remember this today?

(I ask the first question because I was just a bit too young to pay attention to news in the 80s. I got the impression from my research that it was a pretty big deal at the time, but I'm also worried I got tunnel vision from the research project. I ask the second question because I've been abroad so long I've lost touch with the culture nowadays.)

Also curious about your Sandalista friends. They actually went down to Nicaragua then?

Whisky Prajer said...

I recall it being among THE big stories of the '80s -- right up there with Solidarność, the downing of KOA 007, etc. That could just be the myopia of youth -- it was a big deal to me. Still, I think there's some justification to the claim. Outside of the USA most news-followers had a jaundiced view of Reagan as POTUS. Ramping up the arms race, particularly the nuclear arms race, seemed all kinds of crazy. The possibility that El Salvador, Nicaragua, etc could be Reagan's Vietnam/Achille's Heel provided for very juicy TV news coverage -- at least in Canada. I know I watched a series of in-depth histories of Central America ("Sandino in his Tom Mix hat," etc) that came after the first 20 minutes of daily headlines during prime time news.

Now that I think of it, Bruce Springsteen made elliptical commentary on the dread possibilities of things going awry in Central America in his mammoth LIVE boxed set from late '85. That was right at his Born In The USA peak.

I'm not sure I understand your second question. A person would have to have been born in the '70s to have any memory of this at all, so would probably not qualify as "young" (sorry, man -- happens to all of us).

I had a couple of friends who went down with political groups -- usually aligned with a church down there. This was when I was in university, so ... probably '86 or '87(?). There were coffee houses and happenings in Winnipeg that were devoted to the cause back then -- an excuse to party/hook-up for socially conscious types. Anyway, there's a woman I still keep contact with who went down mid-winter to pick coffee beans in solidarity. Something about the arrangement tweaked her, so she bailed and hitch-hiked into the interior where gringos were advised not to go. Nothing happened, except some pleasant interaction with various villagers.

Joel Swagman said...

Ah, yes, clarification on the second question:

"remember" in the sense of collective historical memory.

I get the impression that this whole event has been completely lost to the history books. i.e. the kids coming up today--the ones around your daughter's age--would have no clue that any of this ever took place.

What's your impression? Do people your daughter's age have any clue any of this happened?

Whisky Prajer said...

It's a rare member from that generation who could give even the briefest account of the Wall of Berlin, never mind the Sandinistas.

Joel Swagman said...

Yeah, that's what I figured.
I got that impression when I was trying to refresh my memory, and was searching youtube for videos on this. There's a handful of videos, but...
This whole thing is pretty much completely forgotten now.